Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Total Control v. No Control: A Case Study Contrasting Law Students and Law Schools

Here is an article about law school lawsuits and transparency.  Without being explicit about it, it provides a good compare-and-contrast about the guilt and innocence of various parties getting screwed currently.

First, consider law schools, who have been the unfortunate victims of a sudden global economic meltdown seven years ago that has caused a disruption in the willingness of students to sign up for models and bottles.

Law schools are trying their hardest to give transparent data, but simply have no control over certain things.  Consider:
Barry Currier, managing director of accreditation and legal education at the ABA, said the organization isn't done improving the employment data it releases, but warned that more information would not necessarily help prospective students.
[S]ome of the criticism of schools fails to account for changes in the job market for law school graduates.

"We're letting our concerns about employment and the job market, over which law schools have no control, drive too much of this conversation," he said. (emphasis added)
Sure, some snarky practicing lawyer on a blog somewhere might argue that law schools are essential in controlling the supply of new lawyers, a key variable in the employability of young lawyers, but this is the managing director of accreditation at the ABA.  He's not going to mislead you; if he says law schools have no control over the situation, they have no control over the situation.  Whether they put out 10 graduates or 10 million, they simply cannot create jobs.  Jesus, what are you, stupid?

That's an example of no control.

Now, consider the law student who ignores piles of information:
Nikki Nguyen left a $50,000-a-year job at Boeing Co. in 2006 to pursue a law degree at Thomas Jefferson School of Law...

Instead, she struggled for more than a year to find a job after she graduated and watched her student loan debt of over $180,000 balloon.

Nguyen, 34, is among 12 former Thomas Jefferson students who are suing the university in a California court, accusing it of inflating its graduates' employment figures and salaries to attract students.

"They weren't transparent," said Nguyen, whose case is scheduled to go to trial in March. "People who have a dream of law school should go into it with their eyes wide open."
Ma'am, you were a sophisticated consumer, as shown by your gainful employment at an above-median salary.  Thomas Jefferson didn't hide numbers on your loan documents and made at least an effort to comply with existing guidelines.  If you didn't have sufficient data to decide to enroll in Thomas Jefferson and claim your ticket on the million dollar express, you should have spent hours upon hours researching TJLS graduates, talking to successful local lawyers, and hacking into TJLS computer systems to verify that they weren't bullshitting you when they said 95% employed or whatever it was they claimed.

Unlike law schools, who have no control over the future and had no information that would have suggested a possible change in fortunes post-2005, law students have all the data out there to make sound financial decisions as sophisticated consumers and have for some time.

Total control.

If history is a lie that all agree upon, then law schools will never be history, because they are the truth.


  1. LSTC, your analysis is flawless, as usual. Keep 'em coming.

  2. I think we can all agree that law school is a terrific education. You learn the nuts and bolts of how our nation operates. However, for raw data, employment and income, talk to any solo or small firm lawyer. Look at the data. Pop open any Yellow Pages or look at the number of registered lawyers in your state and compare it to other professions that most adults will utilize over and over again. In other words, sustainable work that will generate a reliable income year after year to pay 180K in student loans and 5 bills monthly for a Bronze Level Obama Care Plan. The law is not that right now and for the foreseeable future.

  3. Amusing. But be careful. The type of applicant who would fall for this malarkey -- the type who would take The Onion at face value -- probably isn't smart enough to catch on to this piece.